The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Miatta Fahnbulleh Celebrates 6th Home-going
Anniversary Of Mary Brownell

By Precious D Freeman
The senior daughter and veteran Liberian Musician and prolific song writer, Miatta Fahnbulleh with other dignitaries celebrated the sixth home-going anniversary of the late Mary Brownell, affectionately known as Ma Mary.
The occasion was graced by several dignitaries who, in retrospect, described their mothers’ tremendous contributions impacted in the lives of many Liberians, especially women.
Making remarks at the occasion recently, Madam Fahnbulleh said that the celebration is not only for her late Mother Mary Brownell but also in remembrance of all of the women who contributed tirelessly for the rights and freedom of all women in Liberia.
She added that Mary Brownell was born in the month of March and also died in March which coincides with the month of Women’s International Day across the world.
Speaking further about Ma Mary, she mentioned that Mary Brownell, chairperson of LWI and founding member of Marwopnet, was born in Maryland, Liberia; holds a degree from the University of Liberia and studied School Administration and Supervision in San Francisco. When war broke out in Liberia she transformed women’s engagement from humanitarian aid to active peacebuilding and also managed to involve civil society in a process that was pivotal to success.
She took risks to become an activist and to raise her voice in a country where not only the interference of women was disapproved of, but also where there is no respect for human life.
According to her, Mary Brownell, convinced that women had the right to participate in the peace process, mobilized women and soon founded the Liberian Women’s Initiative (LWI) to create a neutral force between the warring factions of Liberia.
Using all the strategies that could be conceived, LWI pressured leaders to involve women in all political processes. In effect, the creation of LWI marked the point of entry for women in Liberian politics.
Madam Fahnbulleh continued that in 1994, LWI chose a delegation of six members to force their way into a conference held in Accra, Ghana, despite a refusal to invite them under the pretext that they were not directly linked to the parties to the conflict.
She maintained that Mother Mary Brownell was one of Liberia’s outstanding and outspoken civil society advocates and that she was 88 years old and lived a successful life.
“She is gone but her greatness will always be cherished by Liberians for the role you and women played in bringing peace to Liberia,” she said.
Madam Fahnbulleh added that her Mother was a stalwart of the society and will be missed; though she had five biological children, there are numerous adopted children.
“In spite of her age she was a beacon of hope to many, and yes, she’s dead, but many will remember her for the role she played in education, women empowerment and so forth,” she stated.
Mother Brownell, was head of the Liberia Women Initiative, a women’s organization that fought for the rights and participation of women during the Liberian civil conflict, and mediated to end the war. She was also a former Commissioner of the National Elections Commission.
She was founder and former National Chairperson of the Liberian Women’s Initiative (LWI); former president, Women Development Association of Liberia (WODAL), among several other organizations.
“She was renowned for not shying away from addressing controversial subject matters. Mother Brownell was a strong advocate against various ills in Liberia. She also served as head of a women’s group, Liberian Women Initiatives, which fought for the rights of women during the Liberian civil upheaval that brought peace to Liberia,” she added.

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